If you have had an accident at work or in the course of your work (e.g. whilst travelling to see a patient if you are employed in the community, travelling to and from a course which you are being funded for or have been given time off for by your employer), there are two things to do:
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If you think you have a disease caused by your job, claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit straight away. If you have an accident, claim within 2 months after the accident. This is because you cannot get benefit for the first 15 weeks (90 days not including Sundays) after your accident and you will not normally be medically examined until after this time. If you have any relevant medical evidence, send it with your claim form but do not delay claiming by trying to get new medical evidence. Do not delay claiming. If you do you may lose some benefits. This is because Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit cannot be paid:
The date of your claim is the date your fully completed claim form is received by an office of the Department for Work and Pensions. It is very important that you fill in all the details on the form carefully and return it to your Regional Industrial Injuries Benefit Centre as soon as possible.
If you want help filling in your claim form, contact your Regional Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Centre or the RCN Welfare Rights and Guidance Service.
This should be completed with as much detail as possible and returned to the IIDB Centre as soon as possible after the accident, but can be completed retrospectively. You have 3 months from the date you become entitled to benefit in which to make a claim. If you wish to register or claim benefit for an industrial illness you will need to ask for form BI100PD – see below.
N.B. You can only register ‘wear and tear’ injuries, i.e. cumulative damage to the back in certain specific circumstances. (call us for further advice).
Nursing students who are injured in the course of their training should register the injury but may not be considered for benefit.
You should follow both of these steps even if you think the accident is not serious.
When they receive your completed BI100 A, as part of the claims process, the IIDB centre will look into the incident by contacting your employer for a copy of the original accident form. In most instances it is clear whether an “accident” has happened, and whether it was “industrial” or not. However, case law has expanded these concepts to include less obvious situations (e.g. verbal harassment can constitute an “accident), so it is always advisable to complete the registration form and claim benefit. Seek further advice if you are turned down. The IIDB centre will send a letter to claimants if they are convinced you have suffered an industrial accident as well as an acknowledgement that they have received your claim for benefit.
IIDB is paid to compensate those who have suffered disablement from a “loss of physical or mental faculty” caused by an industrial accident or prescribed disease. Your employer does not have to be at fault for you to receive benefit – and indeed, the claim system does not attribute responsibility for the accident in any way.
Benefit will be paid if your disablement is assessed as being 14% or more. You will be required to attend a medical examination with the DWP medical service in order to determine the loss of faculty. Benefit can be paid whether or not you are working or whether your income has been affected. Award of benefit is made for a set period and you will then be reassessed. If you disagree with the medical officers' assessment you have one month in which to appeal. Seek advice if you wish to appeal any benefit decision. (However, do remember that IIDB Centre might reduce the level of assessment on appeal instead of increasing it.)
Remember: Benefit is payable from 90 days after the original accident. Delaying a claim may mean you may lose some benefit.
N.B. Always retain copies of all forms you are required to complete and letters you write.Back to contents
There are over 70 prescribed industrial diseases for which benefit can be paid, however some are restricted to certain professions. If you think you have contracted/developed a disease in the course of your work you should seek advice from your GP and the IIDB Centre immediately.
DWP Leaflet DB1 is a technical guide intended for use by advisers, but lists all of the diseases prescribed, so is a useful reference. If your condition is not prescribed or listed in this guide you may still be able to claim IIDB under the “accident” provision of the benefit as case law has shown that the catching of a disease can be accepted as an industrial accident. (in which case see above) To claim IIDB for a prescribed disease you will need to get the correct form, BI100PD, from the IIDB centre. There used to be different forms for each group of diseases, so you should tell the IIDB Centre which condition you are claiming for. (E.g. occupational dermatitis, occupational asthma, occupational deafness, repetitive strain injury.) Seek further advice if you wish to claim for industrial disease as there are many different regulations and time limits for the different diseases and conditions covered.Back to contents
If you made a claim for an injury or illness pre- 1990 there are other component benefits that you may be able to claim – call RCN Member Support Services for further advice.Back to contents